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April 18, 2006 It was another one of those strange nights, when for some reason starting pitching as a whole just shuts down league wide. Consider:

Pitcher IP ER ERA
Randy Johnson 3.1 7 20.32
Bruce Chen 4 8 18.00
Gustavo Chacin 6 5 7.50
Carlos Silva 8.2 8 8.78
Jeff Suppan 2 8 36.00
Eric Milton 4.1 9 19.76
Jason Vargas 4 5 11.25
Victor Zambrano 5 7 12.60
Doug Davis 2.2 9 36.82
Felix Hernandez 2 4 18.00

You just never know. Sometimes, there is just something in the air. Oddly, the most successful pitcher of the evening was Jason Johnson, who pitched seven innings, allowing seven hits, one run, walking none and striking out two. You will recall (or at least I will) that Jason Johnson at one point last year gave up five runs by allowing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to bat around and recording only one out before being yanked. And tonight, he gets a redemption of sorts.

April 14, 2006 Tom Glavine has never in his career averaged over a strikeout per inning. His career high for total strikeouts is 192 in 246.2 innings, and that was in 1991. Yet, tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers he struck out eleven batters in six shutout innings, which brings his season total up to 21 in 18 innings. Either Glavine has really gathered his focus to mount a run at 300 wins (276 coming into tonight) or the Brew-Crew need to work on making contact . . . It should be pointed out that after starting the season 0-9 with seven strikeouts, Prince Fielder is now batting .324 and has only struck out 4 more times in 28 ABs . . . The Giants came into tonight's game against the Dodgers with 4 homeruns, which is fewer than six different players, and tied with 13 other players. I think a lot of people would have expected the Giants to have that many homers from one player alone by now . . .

April 7, 2006 - It was starting pitching gone astray day in the Majors today, as no fewer than four pitchers came through with outings which could easily get them sent back to the minors, or perhaps even little league.

As a caveat, it is always important to remember that at this point in the season, guys will be left in a little longer than usual in order to work out kinks, try to establish a rhythm, see how well they can get themselves out of a jam, etc. Nonetheless, these guys were awful, even relatively speaking.

For example, take Kyle Lohse. He gave up 11 hits and three walks on his way to allowing 8 earned runs in four and two thirds. Gavin Floyd continued Philadelphia's dubious starting pitcher run by walking four and giving up 5 runs, three earned, in two and two thirds innings. In Pittsburgh, Paul Maholm managed to be outshined by Eric Milton, giving up five earned on five hits and five walks in six innings.

Interestingly, there were a couple of guys yesterday who were terrible in their start, but their team ended up winning because the other team's pitcher was just as bad. In Kansas City, the 6-spot that Jeremy Affeldt gave up in four innings didn't hurt because opposing pitcher Jon Garland managed to surrender nine earned runs on ten hits in five and one third inning. In Toronto, the D'Rays managed to pull out the 9-8 victory despite Casey Fossum's six earned runs in four and two thirds performance.

But the King of the Eve was truly Daniel Cabrera. In an inning and a third, Cabrera allowed 7 earned runs on three hits and seven walks. Cabrera walked six in the opening inning and a seventh in the second before getting yanked. Cabrera threw 60 pitched in his 1 and a third inning, only getting a terrifying 22 of them over strikes.

Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Asher resides in Alexandria, VA, and can be reached at

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